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13th Dec 2021

Minister refuses to rule out closing schools in January

Danny Jones

Government ministers hint at closing schools

The UK could very well go back to lessons over Zoom

Parents across Britain are cautiously preparing for more around-the-clock remote learning as government ministers warn of schools closing in the coming weeks and refuse to guarantee they will remain open in the New Year.

Speaking to the BBC‘s Andrew Marr, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said that while 99 per cent of schools currently remain open, he could not guarantee that this will remain the case as the Omicron variant continues to spread:

Though he insisted that the government “will do everything in our power to protect education”, families who already experienced having to work full-time alongside looking after and ensuring their children received adequate schooling will no doubt be eager for more clarification.

This comes after the UK’s covid-19 alert level was raised to four following a slew of new cases across the country and Europe at large, with the highly-transmissible variant continuing to spread in what Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned could be a “tidal wave” of infections.

In a follow-up to Zahawi’s question on Sunday, LBC‘s Nick Ferrari went on to ask Health Secretary Sajid Javid if he could shed any further light on potential school closures. Naturally, he said there are “no guarantees” but assured that the recently reintroduced covid measures and booster programme are the best way forward.

Following the PM’s press conference on Sunday evening, it was announced that all over 18s are set to be offered booster jabs this December – this brings forward plans from the initial January projection laid out earlier in the year.

With work from home guidance already in place and mandatory face coverings reinstalled when shopping and on public transport, schools closing looks like a probably next step.

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